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Boots on the Ground: The Fight to Liberate…

Boots on the Ground: The Fight to Liberate Afghanistan from Al-Qaeda and…

by Dick Camp

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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Boots on the Ground by Dick Camp chronicles the fall of the Taliban after 9/11 in Afghanistan. The book begins with the invasion of Afghanistan by the Soviet Union and the continued failure of that invasion to subdue the population, especially in the rural areas and remote mountain valleys. The continued interference of other nations, particulaly Pakistan, lead to the takeover of the govenrment by the Taliban and al-Queda in the late 1990's. They had a reign of terror for the next 5 years enforcing a rigid Islamic state , until 9/11. Then the determination that boots on the ground were needed to stop the terrorists' exporting their brand of rule lead to a series of teams inserted into Afghanistan to direct bombing and develop relationships with opposition leaders. The book goes into detail here with chapters on each team that was inserted and how they did their job. Included are helpful maps. The sections are the war in northren Afghanistan and then southren Afghanistan and are divided as such in the book. Several specific events are described in detail. One was the uprising of captured Taliban prisoners at Qala-I-Jangi, a prison/command center in the south section of the country. The other event depicted in detail was the accidental bombing of friendly troops when communications became garbled. The death of several team members is chronicled clearly. Unfortunately the attention of the military was diverted to Iraq and resouces were drawn to that conflict letting the Taliban hide in the mountain valleys and rural areas
I enjoyed this book, though a lot of the names were difficult to read and a significant amount of military jargon was also used. The bravery of the men who took on these dagerous missions cannot be denied. I give the book 3 1/2 stars ( )
  oldman | Oct 22, 2012 |
This book is more of a mixture of partial memoir, quotes from other works, inserts of commendation letters and maps giving the reader an introduction and overview of the U.S. Involvement in Afghanistan and brief background of the region during during 1979 through 2002 when the U.S. Turned its eyes on Iraq. The first one-third of the book is an overview of the events leading up to the Soviet invasion and subsequent U.S. Involvement. Brief yet helps the reader unfamiliar with the regions history get a rudimentary idea of what had transpired and I think some will find helpful.

The author's main topic is the remaining two-thirds of the book which cover late 2001 through early 2002. The book is broken down by geographic and political divisions and focuses on the various special units and task forces involved during this period. The short but clear overview of these sections covers the work on the ground of the special units of military and CIA for a period of about half a year. The author does cover in some detail what groups where on the ground, when they arrived and what they accomplished in that time period. This introduction gives many references that the reader could choose to follow up for a more in depth accounting.

When it comes US operations in Afghanistan, Camp, like most other authors stop their narrative with Operation ANACONDA in March 2002. Making one think that the U.S. Involvement in this theater of operation took place from September 2001-March 2002, but this is not the case. As I mentioned earlier in this review I think most authors stop at this date as after Operation ANACONDA the U.S.'s focus was Iraq.

The book is easy too read yet some may find the inserts distracting from he flow of the narrative. I found they gave more insight as too what the author was writing about and gave a richer background. I found that this book was worth reading and a good starting point; especially if you know nothing of the conflict. ( )
  hermit | Apr 16, 2012 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Dick Camp's treatment of the early days of the war in Afghanistan occupies a rather unique niche in books that have emerged about that period of time. Unlike several very popular books on the early action ("Jawbreaker", "First In", "Horse Soldiers", etc.) Camp includes a solid amount of historical context, including the withdrawal of the Soviet Union and the rise of the Taliban. Also, by not attempting to cover any one portion of the conflict in great detail (e.g. the early insertion of CIA operatives, the battle of Tora Bora, etc), he provides the reader with a survey of the combat.

It is also interesting to read about the interaction/friction between both the US Defense Dept and the US State Dept as it relates to interactions between the US and Pakistan. The difficulties in the relationship in these current days is the continuation of difficulty that has been sustained over many years.

This book is recommended as a bridge to help readers interested in Operation Enduring Freedom understand the context of the early days of the conflict and will help to stitch together other books on OEF.

Disclosure: I received a copy as part of the LibraryThing Early Reviewers program ( )
  ricksbooks | Apr 11, 2012 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This work is a very superficial "popular" history of the war in Afghanistan. I don't mean that in a totally negative way. I enjoyed this read very much. It gives a pretty good overview of the conflict and it's history without getting bogged down. The sidebars were very informative.

Sometimes you just don't feel like reading a very detailed heavy history work. This book fits the need when you feel that way. ( )
  LeonardIngram | Apr 3, 2012 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Though a quick and good introduction to the conflict in Afghanistan. This read more like a term paper than a history book. The author covers a quick summation of history that lead to the Soviet involvement and retreat from the country and its slide from news until September 2001. The last two-thirds of the book quickly covers the work on the ground of the special units of military and CIA for a period of about half a year. The author does cover in some detail what groups where on the ground, when they arrived and what they accomplished in that time period. The book is easy too read and as I started off with; a good introduction. ( )
  mramos | Apr 2, 2012 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0760341117, Hardcover)

Boots on the Ground is a narrative account of the American war to free Afghanistan from al Qaeda and the Taliban. Author Dick Camp uses extensive firsthand accounts that bring the text alive. Camp’s exciting narrative covers the origins of American combat involvement in the country as well as the post-9/11 campaigns that initially brought victory over al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan. In an incisive epilogue, he describes how we let victory in Afghanistan slip away to fight a war in Iraq.


(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:14 -0400)

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